My own take on affiliate marketing - Full (lengthy) guide


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Right go make yourself a brew, we are gonna be here for a while ya know?

Ask a hundred different affiliate marketers ow they go about their business and you are likely to get a hundred different answers, it's just so easy to do and there are so many ways of doing it.

Here's my take on the business and how I have earned a very lucrative living off it (until I moved on of course).

Affiliate marketing is easy right? Somebody makes a product and you sell it for them. Once it's sold you get a cut of the value of it. The concept is so simple!

If it's so simple then why do most people fail or only earn a meagre living from it? Why is it that only the “Super-affiliates†cash in?

There is one reason for this. Only one! It's their list. You know the type, you go to a site and someone is offering you free information, all you need to do is enter your name and email address and they send it to your email. At this point you have also opted into their newsletter and this newsletter is the medium super-affiliates choose to sell through.

But can you do it without a list? While a list is very handy, in this guide I will be showing you how to cash in on affiliate marketing without the need to spend months building a list. I would certainly suggest that you consider building a list because the work you put in during the early month will reap benefits further down the line.

You can do this without a list and for FREE! Absolutely no cost to yourself, no Adwords or other PPC costs, no buying advertising, no banner creation. You don't even need to build a website or purchase a domain name. When I say free I mean free.

Now one of the first (and costliest) mistakes that new affiliates do is invest heavily in Adwords without proper testing. $2000 later and they throw their keyboard on the floor and swear they will never do affiliate marketing again.

I must re-iterate the fact that this will cost you absolutely nothing. You can set it up, leave it to run and get paid every time someone buys from you while you concentrate your efforts on something else.

Now what I want to say now is that in my working examples I will be using Amazon. I know that some people will buy the book and never take action, it's the way of the world, but of those that do, rather than competing directly with each other, I would suggest you use the same techniques on another affiliate network. Ebay, Clickbank, Commission Junction etc. Give yourself the best chance to succeed by doing things different to everyone else. Or even go direct to the supplier if you find a product that will sell.

We are going to be covering keyword research, psychology of the buyer and how to give them what they want.

Ok let's go yea?

Ok first let's cover psychology. Psychology is a huge thing in marketing these days. As shoppers become more savvy, their searching methods become smarter. No longer does someone on the verge of purchasing a Rolex Daytona search for “watches†on Google

Anybody trying to dominate the watches niche will spend either:

  1. Months getting up the SERPS
  2. Thousands on Adwords

And even when they do that, how far down the line of the buying process is the customer if their search is “watches� They are right at the beginning. This visitor (If using Adwords you might have already spent a few dollar attracting their interest) might visit 20 other sites before deciding on the one they want to purchase.

Look at it from the shoppers point of view. They know they want a watch so they search for watches (128,000,000 results), then they decide on a Rolex one (1,770,000 results), further down the line (and after more research) they decide they want the rolex submariner 16613 watch (28,700 results).

Probably 50% of the people searching “rolex submariner 16613†are ready to buy. Right now there are 1900 monthly searches for “submariner 16613†and a further 1900 for “Rolex submariner 16613†so that's 3800 monthly searches, and 50% (1900) are on the verge of buying.

Getting to the top of 28,000 results is an easy target to achieve with the right link building techniques and 3800 searchers of which 1900 are highly targeted proves this is a great keyphrase to target. Get to number one on this keyphrase and you will sell a lot of watches.

The mentality of a shopper is a complex issue, yes the customer does buy from the sites targeting “watches†but their conversion rate is very low. If you target the more long-tail keyphrases then your traffic is not going to be nearly as high but the conversions will be much higher as the shopper is in the final stages of the shopping process. Plus you haven't spent months on SEO or thousands on Adwords.

Another technique, if you want to be more specific, is solving problems. People always look for the answer to their problem, and if they have a problem then you can solve by directing them through your affiliate link to the right product, then providing you rank high enough, you should be able to cash in.

Think of it from a customers point of view, most affiliates might think about going to Google and typing in “Weight loss†to get their keyword ideas. But again, “weight loss†is not targeted (or not as much as we want) so

  1. The keyword is too broad meaning nobody will ever find you due to too much competition.
  2. The ones that do find you are at the start of the buying process and even if they like what you have to offer, they will be unlikely to purchase it.

The way to think of this is from the buyers viewpoint and one of the best keyphrases that primed buyers will search for is “how to get rid of.....â€. It doesn't matter what they want to get rid of right now, we can research that easily enough, what matters is that people who are searching for this term have an existing problem that they are searching for a solution for it.

Ok I'm going to be giving you some live examples and how to find them so head on over to

In the search box, type “how to get rid of†without the speech marks. Untick “use synonyms†and press “get keyword ideasâ€

And this will bring up many results that people are searching for the answer for, many of these people are on the verge of buying because they need their problem solving.

This is fantastic because it actually shows you the problem.

Note the amount of monthly searches, 14,800. This is a very good amount of searches. If you were at the top you would get a lot of traffic. There really is no bad or good number here, the higher the better, but if you got only 100 searches and they all clicked on your site due to the lack of competition they you are going to cash in.

Ok so head on over to Google search and try the following to see your competition:

  1. how to get rid of bed bugs - 209,000 results
  2. “how to get rid of bed bugs†- 23,600 results
  3. intitle:â€how to get rid of bed bugs†- 845 results
Now the first term is how the searcher is going to search. Ideally anything around the 200K mark is a good target (anything between 0-400,000 is fairly easy to dominate). The term in quotation marks is your true competition as the other 180,000 might have only part of the keyphrase in there. The intitle: term is an important one. These are the sites that have the exact search term in the title of the meta tag of their page, which is exactly what we are going to be doing. The title tag is very important. Anything under 1000 is good.

Ok so to carry on, from your “how to get rid of bed bugs†(without quotes) search, try to see some product names within these search results like this one:

Diatomaceous is a product name related to “how to get rid of bed bugsâ€and a solution to the problem. So back to the Google keyword tool and type it in.

Ok it looks like Diatomaceous Earth is a product name with a good quantity of searches and if you type it into Google you should see the following results:

  1. Diatomaceous earth – 429,000 results
  2. “Diatomaceous earth†- 429,000 results
  3. intitle:“Diatomaceous earth†- 8800 results
This one is definitely achievable and in this case you would want your page title to be :

Howto get rid of bed bugs | Diatomaceous Earth

Or something similar, having both the problem and the solution in the title of the page so that the searcher can either be searching for the answer to their problem, or the specific product name, either way, they are primed buyers and providing you have the keywords at about 5% or your content (eg 5 words out of every 100 words, or 1 in 20) is your keyword) your site/page is perfectly optimised for getting this traffic.

Now let's see if we can find an affiliate program for Diatomaceous. Type Diatomaceous Earth buy into Google and about halfway down you should see an Amazon link where you can sell it through the Amazon associate network (which we will come to). If on your product of choice there is nothing like this, then just go into each of the individual stores and check the site for an “affiliatesâ€, “webmasters†or “partners†link.

Another example is quite a popular ebook: fatloss4idiots. Page title:

Get rid of fat? | Fatloss4idiots

Now whenever someone searches either their problem or the product name, they are shown your site with a handy Clickbank affiliate link to the product.

Now let's go back to the watches example and mix it up as I give you a full working demonstration of this method. This time we are going to be going all the way through it so listen up. We will be choosing the televisions niche and as you know, if you target “televisions†you will get no sales, so we will be breaking it down into the exact product names the customer is searching for.

Firstly let me discuss domains. Your choice is going to come down to one of two things, either pay for a domain and hosting and get Wordpress on there (this gives you more control over SEO etc) or use to host your pages(better search rankings). I told you this will cost you nothing and so we are going to use Wordpress as a parasite host, the potential authority that Wordpress holds will help you. So go to and click “sign up nowâ€.

Your username should contain your niche, so in this example I'm hitting the high-end television market so might go for “Advancedtelevisionsâ€. Be sure to choose “gimme a blogâ€.

Next page : Change your blog title to be a little more descriptive like “Advancedtelevisions | Fantastic televisions at remarkable prices†and be sure that the privacy box is checked.

Next page : An email has been sent. Forget about filling in your profile info, just check your email and click the activation link.

We will go over setting up the page and adding content later, for now go over to and scroll right to the very bottom of the page and hit : Join associates.

Go through the registration process (it doesn't matter what country you are in, choose the US version of Amazon and be honest about where you are located, I'm in the UK and had no problems), being sure to enter your blog address at in the correct part, in my case it's Advancedtelevisions | Fantastic televisions at remarkable prices) and at the end it will tell you that your application has been received, you will get notified whether you are accepted in the next few days and until then you can freely use your affiliate link and the system.

This is good as you have a little leeway to get your site up and running before your application is approved. So providing you follow my example you shouldn't get declined.

Back over to Wordpress and log in. Then click your blog name:
Then click “post†on this part of the page:

Delete the “Hello World†intro post and let's set about setting up your blog (when I say blog, this isn't going to be a blog of course, but for SEO purposes that's exactly what it is).

Now we are going to be working off the menu on the left:

Firstly click “appearance†and choose a different theme if you like, for ease of use I'm going to stick with the Kubrick one. If you are good at design then feel free to click “custom header†and change it to a better one, though it's not necessary. Then click “Widgetsâ€

The widgets won't play a huge role in this but in some cases people might like the extra interaction. Any that you want, just drag them to the right. Askimet is a spam filter, which you should apply as we are going to be creating our own comments so comments will be enabled and we don't want people spamming up our nice new sales pages.

I would also add the tag cloud, pages, and the meta widget as well as blogroll if you want some backlinks to related content. The pages widget being the most important so move it to the top.

Now down to the Settings menu, notice how the title has been propogated? We don't need to worry about this at all for reasons I will cover, but you might want to copy and paste it into your tagline to get rid of the crap that's been propogated with. Click “save changes†and move onto the “Reading†sub-menu.

In the “For each article in an enhanced feed, show†part, check all except comment cloud and save it before moving onto the “discussion†sub-menu.

Leave everything as it is with the exception of checking “Users must be registered and logged in to comment†and “An administrator must always approve the comment†and unchecking “Comment author must have a previously approved commentâ€. Save it and move on to privacy just to make sure your blog is visible to all.

Now let's take a little time out to explain what we will be doing here. Most blog providers don't allow much in the way of site structure. If you had your own domain you could easily create directories for yourself, just posting in the relevant directory. Most blog sites don't allow this and as such SEO is difficult to do, you can't create multiple pages that just focus on one keyword, they appear on the same page, just different entries. Wordpress though is different.

Effectively, you can use pages as sub-pages of other pages which allow a directory type structure providing you use them correctly. Because of this, we can optimize each individual page to the product it is selling.

Now imagine a normal directory structure. It might be like:



-contact us



-link building.html




This is showing the products, contact us, services and images as sub-pages of the homepage, then SEO and linkbuilding as sub-pages of the services page.

In the case of televisions and how we are going to do it, might be something similar to this:

-Sanyo TR13695f
-Sony Viao 56752f86j
-Samsung 65T100yt
-Panasonic T100LYT
-Sanyo 54kt5
-Sony PRO67326
-rear projection
-Toshiba 89Y632q

Essentially speaking Televisions is going to be my homepage, nothing is going to be sold on this page but it's going to link into all the different type of televisions which are then going to link into the specific model.

Enough theory, let's show you.

Clilck “posts†then add new. The first box is the title and so you want something relevant in there. This is my choice:

Now whenever anyone goes to your homepage this is the post they will see, notice I have a Televisions link there? As I might branch out into watches, handbags, whatever the hell I want they can click on the links to get to the relevant sub-section. The link is pointing to Televisions Reviewing advanced technological pleasures which I will create next.

Now this is where we start playing with pages. The /televisions/ directory is actually a page in the eyes of Wordpress so we now need to go and make that page. On the menu, click pages and then delete the autogenerated “about†page. Click add new and we are good to go.

Now this page is going to be specifically about televisions so this is what I have done:

View it here: Televisions Advancedtelevisions | Fantastic televisions at remarkable prices

Televisions now has it's own directory (page) and it has links to the main type of television which all point to :

LCD Televisions – Flat back Reviewing advanced technological pleasures
LCD Televisions – LED Backlit Reviewing advanced technological pleasures
Plasma Televisions Reviewing advanced technological pleasures
Rear-projection televisions Reviewing advanced technological pleasures
Video Projectors Reviewing advanced technological pleasures

Now the sub-directories lcd-televisions-flat-back and the others are actually the page names with a – replacing a space. So essentially I have named my sub-pages:

lcd televisions - flat pack
lcd televisions - led backlit

Let's do that now.

Again add a new page but don't publish it just yet.

Just fill it with information about the relevant type of product and before you hit publish, look over to the right-hand side:

See the main page drop-down menu? This is where we are going to be classifying it as a sub-page of the televisions page rather than of the homepage, so click it and choose the Televisions parent before clicking Publish. What I have just done here is create a subdirectory which will look like this:

Do this with all your categories and you are set, ready for your product pages. We have just created a directory structure in Wordpress with all the authority it carries with it. In doing this we can make each individual page optimised for the specific keyword, whereas with a blog we would have not had this choice.

Ok time for you to go get something to drink, we are about halfway through and I want your mind fresh before we move on.

Right, head back over to Amazon and sign in here. Now there are many ways to display your ads but one of my favourite ways is as follows.

Click on “links and banners†and activate the “site stripeâ€. Now whenever you are logged in on the Amazon shopping portal, that site stripe will be active and you can get your links directly. Ok once activated go to and choose your category, in my case [ame=",979929011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=left-2&pf_rd_r=0QN8DHM13WJFVXHNXDZQ&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=481698311&pf_rd_i=1266092011"]this one[/ame] for flat panel LCD televisions.

Choose a TV (I have sorted mine in order of price) and click it which should bring up something like this:

Ok how you choose you way of doing this is up to you completely but I like the following way, stick with me, it's an expansive process.

First, right-click the image of the TV and choose “copy image location†Not sure about IE but this is Firefox

Back over to Wordpress and add another page. Click the highlighted button to attach an image:

Which then loads up :

Click “from URL†and copy the link on your clipboard directly into the part where it asks for the image URL. Now back to the Amazon page and copy the product title, in my case “Samsung LN40A530 40-Inch 1080p LCD HDTVâ€. Paste this into Image title and image caption. Choose centre alignment and flick back to Amazon. Now on your site stripe, choose “link to this page†and on the screen that pops up, “text only (basic display)â€

This link contains your affiliate link :

Now highlight the whole of the first link (containing your affiliate link and your tracking number) as such:

And copy it to your clipboard. Back to Wordpress and paste it into “Link image to†so once everything is filled in it should look like this:

Go ahead and click “insert into post†and kablam – you have yourself a hyperlinked image with your affiliate id incorporated.

Now highlight the image and click the link button above it:

Choose “target – Open link in a new window†“class – align centre†and copy/paste your image title into the title box. Update it and you are done.

Now go and get some content/technical details from Amazon and paste them in below your image to give your visitor a good idea of what it is.

Now the title, this is the part that's going to appear in your title meta tag so this needs to be right. Use the product name. So in my case my title would be Samsung LN40A53 and I always like to make reviews so my full page title would be “Samsung LN40A53 Review†minus the quotes. This ensures that my page is completely optimized should anyone search for that exact keyphrase.

Ok now before you go ahead and publish it, choose its parent. In my case it's parent would be LCD televisions flat panel thus ensuring it goes in the correct directory. Once that's done get it published and move onto another product. If you want an idea of what the full site would look like then go here:

Reviewing advanced technological pleasures

You will see the full directory structure on the right-hand side. I built this on requests during beta testing as a few pupils had difficulty visualising it.

What you want to do at some point is to follow it up with comments in the form of independent reviews, either with your name or a pseudonym, make then seem honest andyou should have yourself a winner.

Now that is about it, just keep building up products and in some time you will gain a little authority with Google.

Now I'm not going to go into the intricacies of traffic building, you are all blackhetters and surely have your own ways you find most effective so use whatever you can to get your traffic, you really only need to get indexed simply because you have everything optimized for the buyer keyphrase.

Ok I know it was long but it's also really easy and you will have them up and running in no time flat.

Me? I need to sleep now, I'm typing in the dark and my head hurts. :thefinger:


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Yea this is a great post its similar to what I do, hopefully no one turns this into an ebook for profit as it could have easily been one


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Yea this is a great post its similar to what I do, hopefully no one turns this into an ebook for profit as it could have easily been one
Yea they did - Me! Haha.

There is a time for earning and a time for giving. I have so much stuff going on now (Have a challenge to complete - Create a million dollar a year (passive) business) that I have to give stuff away to stop it going to waste.

Help the noobs, helps the experienced and helps me too (keeps me motivated). I have a very impressive one coming up when I can access the forbidden section, so keep your eyes peeled.


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This is a great guide and a complete one as well. I have nominated this post because it will be very helpful for beginners and some advanced marketers as well. You put in a lot of effort in getting this guide up and thanks a lot!


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Love this kind of in-depth tutorial, no doubt it will benefit all of us for sure.

Keep up the good work buddy :)




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I'll see what I can do. There are so many blackhat ways to get traffic. A lot of it is manual work (unless you get an xrumer blast or something) and because of this, I outsource as much as possible which frees my time to do more important things.

Of curse getting traffic is easy, getting converting traffic is more difficult. But with this guide you are set up to receive targeted SERPS traffic just as soon as you are indexed so if you do that as soon as possible, you are well on your way. Traffic is one thing, targeted converting traffic is another so you have to set your campaign (any campaign you do) to catch as much of this type of traffic as possible.

God of Hell Fire

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Man all I gotta say is wholly frick, this is one the best threads I've read in awhile, very complete and ultra simple to follow.
If you can't make money with this info, you're in the wrong business, go sell shoes.
Kudos to you Dave
Gonna stickie too.


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Thanks I am truly humbled.

Since this is stickied I might as well offer support on it so if anyone has questions about this or any other of my methods (or if you just want a chat) hit me up. It's only right.

Man all I gotta say is wholly frick, this is one the best threads I've read in awhile, very complete and ultra simple to follow.
If you can't make money with this info, you're in the wrong business, go sell shoes.
Kudos to you Dave
Gonna stickie too.


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and now I have an idea of how to implement this in my niche :)
Great, this can be used in just about any niche. Each page is set up as a microniche (make/model) with the actual site being set up as a generic niche. As the traffic comes in to your microniches, the authority of the generic niche grows.

On a larger scale look to the dynamic pages that creates. As the searcher types in a search term, About dynamically creates a page for it and the traffic it gets helps it rank in the SERPS even though the content itself sucks.


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Great, this can be used in just about any niche. Each page is set up as a microniche (make/model) with the actual site being set up as a generic niche. As the traffic comes in to your microniches, the authority of the generic niche grows.

On a larger scale look to the dynamic pages that creates. As the searcher types in a search term, About dynamically creates a page for it and the traffic it gets helps it rank in the SERPS even though the content itself sucks.
Absolutely agree with you, davejug1...
So if my generic niche is games, my microniches would be:
arcade games
action games
puzzle games
free games

And this way it's possible to cover the whole generic niche using only one blog...
With time this will grow as a gaming empire...

And I'm planning to do this later...


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Absolutely agree with you, davejug1...
So if my generic niche is games, my microniches would be:
arcade games
action games
puzzle games
free games

And this way it's possible to cover the whole generic niche using only one blog...
With time this will grow as a gaming empire...

And I'm planning to do this later...
Well in the case of gaming you would need three level of niche (imagine how many games there are in comparison with decent televisions). So personally I would hit the titles so you might have:

Tiger Woods
Final fantasy

But then I would think about the buying words and what I want them to buy.

I wrote something a while ago about using micro-niches to dominate generic terms on the search engines. It's very much a long term project but over time it can be very lucrative. I'll hunt it down and post it now so watch out for new threads.


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Ok, I've went trough all of it and this is an awesome post, very complete and full of details... Surously good for noobs like me :)

Thanks again!